Cote d’Ivoire: Around 1,000 soldiers to retire by end of the year

By on December 8, 2017

991 soldiers have agreed voluntarily to retire end this month as part of government’s plan to downsize the army judged oversized, cabinet spokesperson has announced.

The soldiers according to Bruno Koné choose to go voluntarily adding that the move is not connected to recent revolts within the army.

The men will retired on December 31 and will receive per diem to assist them in their new life.

The West African country has known peace since the 2010-2011 political crisis but was rocked by revolts within the army in January and May of this year headed by former rebels enlisted in the army.

Now made of over 41, 000 forces largely composed of FANCI (National Armed Forces Côte d’Ivoire) loyal to former President Laurent Gbagbo currently facing trial in the Hague and FAFN (Armed Forces of New Forces) which supported to be loyal to current President Alassane Ouattara, the national army is judged too large and constitutes the country’s national budget largest portfolio.

Most of the defense budget according to Jeune Afrique is used to pay salaries. From 2016 to 2020, the government plans to spend over $4 billion to finance the act on military programming.

The government plans to convince 4,400 soldiers to go on retirement from now on.  The 991 men living by the end of this year, is the first move on this regard.

The downsizing will enable the government to reduce the defense budget, recruit youthful forces and more importantly ensure the grades pyramid, a source aware of the plan told Jeune Afrique.

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